Thursday, April 30, 2009
Mr.O'Hara and me
I am reading the authorized sequel to "Gone With The Wind," which is called ,"Scarlett." I must say that I find it to be as intiguing as the original.
My family and I first saw the movie at the Hunter Theater in New York and I don' think I have ever gotten over it.I was 17.The scene at the train depot with all the bodies ,spread out as far as the eye could see, was terrible.And then there was Tara. Home.Where Scarlett headed when she,Rhett ,Melanie and her baby escaped Atlanta and the invading Yankees.The horrific fire and explosions.And then home to Tara, the lovely plantation of her family.
The original Tara was in fact the plantation of Margaret Mitchell's great-grandparents, the Fitzgeralds of Clayton County,Georgia.We have lived on the original 3,000 acres for the last 20 years and never knew it.A very informative tour of Stately Oaks, a refurbished Civil War plantation near downtown Jonesboro, led us to this revelation.We live on two acres that borders the Flint River flood plain where Margaret and her brother used to play as children when they went South from Atlanta for the summer.
The original building was taken apart and it sits under blue tarp somewhere in Clayton County, waiting for the money to be donated to bring it back to life.
Of all the towns in this country that we could have moved to when we left New York, we came to Jonesboro.And Tara.
When I wander around our small parcel,the wind whispers through the pines.The white rue anemone and the violet wild geraniums nod under the pink native azaleas that are tall and unnoticed until Spring. It is then that I can hear that old Irishman, Mr.O'Hara.He is telling his beloved daughter, Katie Scarlett ," It's the land,Katie, the land.It's the only thing that lasts or matters.The land." And I feel chills all over, again.